Weird and Wonderful of Nature: The Earth's Time and Seasons
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Weird and Wonderful of Nature: The Earth's Time and Seasons

The International Date Line is an imaginary line at 180 Degree longitude. Cross it heading westwards and you gain a day, heading eastwards you lose a day.

By Mr Ghaz

 

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Weird and Wonderful of Nature: The Earth's Time and Seasons

 

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Core Facts

Earth’s axis is tilted, so the angle at which the Sun’s rays stroke the Earth changes from month to month this cause the changing seasons and variations in daylight length.

During the Northern Hemisphere summer the Northern Hemisphere tilts towards the Sun and the Southern Hemisphere away from it. During the Northern Hemisphere winter, the Northern Hemisphere tilts away from the Sun and the Southern Hemisphere towards it

According to the astronomical calendar, the seasons begin at specific point, know as the solstices and equinoxes, along Earth’s orbit round the Sun.

Astronomical Seasons

 

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When the northern end of Earth’s axis tilts towards the Sun, the most direct sunlight falls on the Northern Hemisphere. The Sun reaches its highest angles in the sky there, giving the maximum number of daylight hours and the greatest solar heating. The North Pole has 24 hours of daylight. It is winter in the Southern Hemisphere, and a six- month night descends on the South Pole.

Six month later, the southern tip of the Earth’s axis tilt towards the Sun and the situation is reversed.

 

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March the sun in overhead at the Equator. The point marks the beginning of the Northern Hemisphere spring and the Southern Hemisphere autumn.

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June the Sun is directly over the Tropic of Cancer. It reaches its highest pint in the Northern Hemisphere sky and its lowest pint in the Southern Hemisphere.

 

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September the sun is directly overhead at the Equator. This point marks the beginning of the Northern Hemisphere autumn and the Southern Hemisphere spring.

 

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December the sun is directly over the Tropic of Capricorn. The most heat falls on the Southern Hemisphere, and it is winter in the Northern Hemisphere.

Solstice and Equinox

 

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The solstices are two days - June 21 and December 21 - when the Sun is directly over one or other Tropic, producing the maximum and minimum daylights. On these two days the Equator is at its fartest point from the Sun.

The equinoxes (meaning day and night of equal length) occur when the Sun is directly overhead at the Equator, on march 21 and September 22.

 

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The Four Seasons: The yearly round of the seasons from early spring through to winter.

Counting Seasons

 

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The greatest changes in het and light occur in mid and high latitudes, and these regions have four seasons a year. Where the Sun is overhead, convection creates maximum storm activity. As this spot shifts between the two Tropics, heavy rainfall moves too, giving a cycle of two seasons, wet and dry. At the Equator, there is one season.

Leap Years

 

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The Earth takes 365 days and 6 hours to orbit the Sun. This means that each year, the moment at which a new season begins (the moment the Sun is at its highest point) is six hours later than in the precious year. After four years the seasons are 24 hours behind and this is corrected by adding an extra day, February 29, every fourth year.

GMT

 

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In 1884 the longitude of Greenwich, England, was chosen as 0°, or the Prime Meridian. Local time there, known as Greewich meridian Time, became the basis for time zones round the world. GMT has been replaced by the more accurate Universal Time.

Time Zones

 

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The world is divided into 24 time zones Each zone represents 15 Degree of Longitude. Theoretically, the clock moves one hour forward for each zone to the east of the Prime Meridian, and one hour back for each zone to the west, although many variations occur. The International Date Line is an imaginary line at 180 Degree longitude. Cross it heading westwards and you gain a day, heading eastwards you lose a day.

 

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The International Date Line takes a wiggly course so that island groups, such as Kiribati and Fiji, can be in one zone.

 

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Standard Time Zones: The standard time in each zone is Universal Time (represented by 0 on the map) plus or minus the number of hours given. Some countries use Daylight Saving Time in summer, which is one hour ahead of standard time.

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International time zones are not compulsory. China, which spans five zones, uses just one.

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Comments (4)

Its always an enlightening experience on science from a good friend, thanks Mr. Ghaz.

Great job as always Mr. Ghaz!

I love your use of photos. Very nice work here.

Good post

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